Paris honours Alain Tanner for one month
The Cinémathèque Française in Paris will dedicate a major retrospective to Alain Tanner – the most famous representative of the “New Swiss Cinema” of the 1960s and 1970s. The programme, which will run from January 14 to February 15, 2009, was compiled in cooperation with SWISS FILMS and comprises 25 films. The Genovese filmmaker, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in one year, will participate in the various panel discussions dedicated to his work, together with several of his closest companions – the producer Paulo Branco, essayist Bernard Comment, author Antonio Tabucchi and actress Myriam Mézières.Between “Charles mort ou vif” – which was discovered by the Critics’ Week in Cannes in 1969 and awarded the Golden Leopard at the film festival in Locarno that same year – and his last film “Paul s’en va” (2003), Alain Tanner has created a cinematic oeuvre that has firmly established him and Swiss film far beyond the Swiss border. The retrospective organised in the Cinémathèque Française will be supervised by historian and geographer Frédéric Bas, who had written the afterword in Tanner’s book “Ciné-mélanges” (Seuil 2007) and the introduction to the cinematic portrait published by SWISS FILMS. Bas distances himself from Tanner’s image as the “bittersweet depositary of the utopia of 1968“, as it appears in the films “La Salamandre” (1971) and “Jonas qui aura 25 ans en l’an 2000” (1976). Otherwise, Tanner’s work would be utterly reduced to the major issues of that political period. He sees in Tanner a “filmmaker concerned with matter and longing, not with discourses and ideas”.
Based on the theme of “Parlons cinema”, a discussion between Alain Tanner and his long-standing co-producer Paulo Branco (Gemini Films) is scheduled on January 16. Following the screening of the documentary film “Alain Tanner, pas comme ci, comme ça” by Pierre Maillard (2007) on January 17, Alain Tanner will give a “Leçon de cinema”, which will be moderated by Serge Toubiana, director of Cinémathèque, and Frédéric Bas. On January 24, following the screening of “Une flamme dans mon Coeur” (1986), which ranks among his most controversial films, the singer, dancer, actress and screenwriter Myriam Mezières will give her account of her work and films with Tanner. The series will be concluded with a final round of discussions on February 15: after the screening of “Requiem” (1997), Alain Tanner will meet with essayist, novelist and translator Bernard Comment and the Italian author Antonio Tabucchi.
The Cinémathèque Suisse take over the retrospective in Lausanne as of March 5, 2009.
Alain Tanner Portrait
Zurich/Geneva, December 4, 2008